Bob Beaver was not quite as eager and hard working as most beavers. Bob seemed to enjoy the easy life, swim around eat all the tender young shoots and plants. It always seemed that Bob was not to be seen around when the dam had a leak or a new dam was to be built. So the older beavers referred to him as "Absent Bob", and the chief elder beaver Old Wide Tail, had resigned himself to teaching the young whippersnapper a lesson.
Now Crow Creek runs from out West of Cheyenne, out Happy Jack way, and is the crick the receives it water from the Granite/Crystal Reservoirs overflow, plus the overflow from North Crow Reservoir. It isn't much of a stream, heck you don't really have to jump to cross it, but just take a good step. Anyhow by the time this stream reaches Fort Warren it is still small by Eastern creek standards, but it is decent and flows enough so that there is a beaver colony located on the base. Can you imagine? Just South of the railroad and right in the middle of an Air Force base a little beaver colony lives on a little creek?
Now I know I used the word creek, but there is a brook, a rill, a crick, a branch and many other names for a creek. Heck there are many names, but I like creek cause it is the named used when I was a boy.
The beavers' colony was divided into the upper and lower parts, the upper being in pretty much flat land and no cottonwoods with which to build dams. The lower had lots of trees and the creek was deeper.
Old Wide tail had been wanting to add a couple of dams further East, past the Interstate 25, but the population had not thrived as he wished it to and so he fashioned a plan.
"Gather round and listen up," were Wide Tail's words as he called a meeting of the colony. "We need to expand so we will build a dam and start a colony down on the other side of the road." He looked around to see what the reactions were. "There are lots of trees and bushes, so building a small dam and the food supply will be good." He spotted Bob who was not paying any attention. "And Bob will go down and build the first dam. Then when it is ready we will send three more down help out."
"Bob go where?" Bob asked in amazement.
"You will be going downstream and building a new dam and start the colony," Wide Tail said. Then he covered some other things and then in closing said, "Bob see me."
"I am going where to do what?" were Bob's words as he approached Wide tail.
"Yes Bob, you will go down on the other side of the big path and find a place and build a dam and then start a lodge. I will send down some others to help settle it."
"But I . . . " bob stammered.
"Yes, you are lazy and trifling, and this will teach you, for if you do not get a dam and lodge built, then you will have no food and no secure place to live." Wide tail grinned. "Now be off, I will be down to check on you in a few days.
Everyone congratulated Bob on being selected and his ego and self-importance did grow. So he immediately set out down stream to find a place to build a new community.
First the banks were steep, and then there were a bunch of culverts and overpasses. So Bob spent the first day just wandering around and eating. The second day he went further down stream and found there was no place to build, so back up the stream he went to the first place. He started to gather some small dead branches that were lying about, but they were nothing.
"Look at that big rat," poof, poof, then splat splat as shot landed near him. Bob looked over and two boys with BB guns were on the other bank.
"You go across the creek and I will shoot from here," the toe headed boy said to the other one.
As he jumped the creek, running as fast as he could, the second one yelled, "Oh that ain't no rat. That is a beaver, going to make myself a beaver hat," he said. He stopped and shot, then ran and shot again.
Bob scurried left then right, and there was no place to hide. The BB's were hitting closer and closer to him so he slid into the creek and started moving up stream.
"See him?" yelled the toe headed boy.
"Naw, I must have hit him," replied the second, brown-headed boy.
"You look on that side and I will look over here. Man, I don't want to lose that beaver hat," the toe-head yelled.
Bob stayed still and quiet in a little recess he found under the bank. It was a nice little hidey-hole but no place to stay for long.
After a little while the two boys became bored with looking and something new hit one of them. "Hey lets go down to the park and see if we can shoot some pigeons." The brown head hollered to the other, and soon they were gone.
Bob came out of the water and up onto the bank, where he lay in the sunshine all tuckered out. After a few minutes he found he was hungry and so he set out to remedy his hunger pangs. Then later he lay in the thick tall grass and took a nap.
When Bob awoke he started to look around and saw that there was not enough feed there unless there was more fertile ground to grow trees and bushes.
Screech, slam, slam, "Look over there, see the beaver?" A boy said to his dad as they jumped out of their car. "Wow he looks pretty, lets go home and get some traps."
Just then another car ran into the first one, and a big shouting match began.
Bob slid down into the water and swam over to some brush on the bank and immediately he began to drag the large branches down into the water. "Don't care about any of it, I am going to make me a pond and lodge," he muttered to himself. Then he looked around and no one was paying any attention to him. He just worked and boy did he get tired.
Old Wide Tail looked around and three days later when he arrived down stream, he found Bob feverishly working. "Good job," Wide Tail said to Bob. They were his only words then he went back home.
Within a week Bob had a dam built and at the end of the second week, he had it finished and full of water. "Man this is neat," he said to himself as he swam around in his new pond. "Now for a lodge." (He talked to himself a lot).
The water had backed up and it looked so nice and rural in the area, that the Wyoming Game and fish dumped a small load of trout into the pond.
The population explosion had begun. So the following week Wide tail sent Amos and Anne beaver along with their daughter Bimbi down to join Bob. Bob had done a magnificent job, especially considering this was his first job, but innate abilities do thrive.
"Hi Bob, pretty place you have here," Bimbi smilingly said as she swam to where Bob was working.
"Hi Bimbi." One smile from Bimbi and Bob was smitten.
"Bob can I go in and check out the lodge?" Anne asked as Amos swam around inspecting the project.
"Sure Mrs. Anne Beaver go right ahead. Remember it is your home also." Bob had learned some manners; that had been one positive result from his hard work.
"Bimbi, want to go for a tour?" Bob was all excited as Amos and Anne went down to check out the lodge, so Bimbi and Bob's courtship began.
Bob thought, "Next year we will have to build a second lodge."
When Wide tail came back he found a thriving four beaver community, with Bimbi and her mother Anne cutting and storing branches for the winter.
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